Overcoming the Perils of Advocacy in Corporate Planning

by Frank Gilmore



This article shows that the key to overcoming the perils of advocating changes in corporate strategy lies in a thorough job of formulation and careful development of a cogent argument. This article concentrates on the task of building an effective argument in support of a proposed new strategy. An executive approach embracing the integrated concepts of formulation and advocacy discussed in this article holds promise for overcoming the perils inherent in making strategy proposals. If the groundwork is done effectively during the formulation phase, those executives who stand to be most affected by the proposal will have participated actively in the process and hence are likely to be sympathetic to the change. Knowledge of this fact can go far in reducing the resistance to change on the part of those who must approve the proposal. Since the proposal is likely to be more sound as a result of a participative process during formulation, the individual who prepares the final report is far less apt to be guilty of distorting evidence to prove hastily formed and inadequately considered conclusions. Again, this realization should strengthen the confidence of those to whom the report is addressed in the thoroughness of the underlying analysis, and hence should improve the probability of acceptance.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

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